Friday, July 12, 2013

July '13 CM Report

  • Sabbatical: I’ll be starting sabbatical (my first ever!) next week and my first day back in the office will be October 15th.  
    • Although a good deal of my time will be practicing the “sabbath” part of sabbatical-ing (I am going to try and match Leo’s napping schedule, for example), I’m also going to be exploring the subject of decision making from the perspective of different organizations, different fields and brain science.  I’m really pretty excited about it and have a good sized pile of books I’ll be working through the next few months as well as a conversation or two with some experts.  As you might imagine, one of my primary roles is accompanying individuals, churches, committees and institutional structures as they move through various discernment and decision making processes.  I want to learn more so I can share more.  I’ll be posting occasional updates and reviews of what I’m reading on my blog (Thoughts and Prayers) if you’d like to keep up.
    • While I’m away, if there’s anything you’re seeking that you’d normally call me for, contact Arlene.  For those of you who might not know her, Arlene Hobson is out Executive Administrator.  Our office number is 206-725-8383 and Arlene’s email address is  Although we have many of my tasks covered, please be patient with those in our conference structures when - inevitably - something comes up that’s outside those systems we’ve set up.  
    • Do know that I will not be able to receive emails, phone calls or any other work related communication while I’m gone.  I ask your prayers for rest, refreshment and new insights.  THANK YOU FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY!!!!!!!
  • General Synod:  For those of you who follow the Pacific Northwest Conference listserv, you saw some of the wonderful reflections on General Synod from our delegation and visitors (if you’re not on our listserv, please sign up!  Its a great way to keep up on PNC news.  Click on this link to get instructions).  I really appreciate the snapshots of conference life that our moderator, Tim Devine, shares with the conference!  There are a few actions of Synod, in particular, that I’d encourage you to keep your eye on or check out:
  • Insurance Assistance Fund: You’re going to be hearing more about this soon, but we need to increase those monies that are part of the PNC Insurance Assistance Fund.  These monies are used to help support those retired clergy and smaller churches that could not afford to pay for health insurance, otherwise.  In many cases, we’re talking about retired clergy that served churches others would not; congregations that served rural or isolated settings with small memberships.  Many of the churches we support are in some sort of transition or in communities where the voice of a more inclusive form of Christianity is small.  This is important work for both the health of our congregations and pastors.  If you are so called, please consider sending a check to the Pacific Northwest Conference with “For the Insurance Assistance Fund” written on the memo line.  Thank you!
OK, that’s it for now.  See you all in a few months and, again, if you’d like to see an occasional sabbatical report, take a look at my blog: Thoughts and Prayers .